27-28 May 2002


The Quick Relief Foundation organizes an International Workshop on 27-28 May 2002 in Budapest on "The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Disaster Relief". Venue of the Workshop: Grand Hotel Hungária (1074 Budapest, Rákóczi út 90. Tel.: +36-1 478 1100, Fax: +36-1 478 1112, e-mail:


In the Central-European region this is the first comprehensive meeting where the representatives of the most important international organizations concerned in disaster management tasks and the home state institutions and local authorities, the Hungarian charitable organizations and voluntary rescue teams can jointly survey the principles of their cooperation and the conditions of the deepening of this cooperation. The event gives opportunity for the detailed studying of procedures, methods and principles of activity established by the European Union, the UN and international humanitarian organization in disaster relief.

Furthermore, the Workshop offers a good opportunity for the participants - among them, as invited persons, the representatives of the embassies of the neighbouring countries and some state institutions dealing with humanitarian affairs - to discuss the necessity and possibilities of regional cooperation.


The Report of the UN General Assembly announced on its 20. August 2001 session, the Guidance of the Council of Europe declared at its meeting in 2001 in Göteborg and the Regional Report of 2001 of the Operation Group of the Southeast-European Stability Pact indicate that there is a need for the definite formulation and development of the tasks and role of non-governmental organizations, as part of an integrated national disaster management strategy. It has also arisen that, in order to increase efficiency, cooperation between governmental organs and civilian organizations should be established, as part of national planning and mutual support, through a non-governmental organization fulfilling an "umbrella" function.


In Hungary the act on disasters entered into force in 1999, which declared that prevention of, and protection against disasters has been a national cause. The act defines that protection and elimination of consequences should be ensured, by beyond the state organs destined for this, the involvement of the civilian sphere.

The Quick Relief Foundation, established last year, regards it as one of its main tasks to participate in the liquidation of damages caused by natural and other disasters and in the relief and aiding of the population of areas stricken by disaster. Among its development activities the Foundation organizes the technical development of an emergency monitoring system and, after its putting into operation will be completed, it will ensure its operation.


The representatives of the UN, the EU, the NATO, the Southeast-European Stability Pact, the LACDE and the UK Cranfield University and the head of the Finnish disaster protection administration and the Serbian Government Commissioner for Refugees will participate in the Workshop and express their position.

In addition to international organizations the representatives of the disaster management organizations of some countries and the Ambassadors and officials of the neighbouring countries in Budapest have also been invited.

On behalf of Hungary primarily the representatives of the organizations concerned in preparation for disaster, disaster management and disaster relief and the Hungarian Red Cross and religious charitable institutions and Voluntary Rescue Teams and local authorities will participate in the Workshop on the non-governmental side. The representatives of the professional state disaster management organizations - e.g. the National Directorate General for Disaster Management, Ministry of Interior - and the different affected ministries and authority organs will also attend.


Mr. Sune Follin, Head of the Stability Pact Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative Regional Operation Group, regional representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Regional Disaster Preparedness Delegate.

In his presentation he will deal with the role and tasks of the Stability Pact and the role of non-governmental organizations in the strengthening of disaster preparedness of the Central- and South-European region and in disaster relief. He wishes to stress the importance of the fact that the activity of civilian organizations participating in disaster relief is coordinated by a non-governmental organization, which has adequate technical background (e.g. monitoring system, accessible database, etc.) available and has contractual contact with governmental organs for disaster management. This is namely the institutional guarantee for disaster relief to take place with the greatest possible efficiency and without any disturbance in the event of any type of disaster.

Ms. Madeleine Moulin-Acevedo will participate in the representation of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in the Workshop.

She will deliver a presentation on experiences gained in disaster relief and cooperation on assistance between state organs and non-governmental organizations in the European and other geographical regions. The utilization of the experiences of the UN Office for Coordination gained during its operation of more decades and of its methods established jointly with the greatest international humanitarian organizations can, both in Hungary and the Central-European region, increase significantly the level of the quality of disaster elimination and relief.

Mr. Pentti Partanen, Director General of the Finnish Ministry of Interior Rescue Department, Member of the Disaster Protection Cooperation Council of the Northern Countries

In his presentation he will give an overview on the role of non-governmental and voluntary organizations in disaster relief, the coordinating mechanism, the integrated system of emergency monitoring, data management and aiding applied in Finland which is now under further development. Today several European experts consider the Finnish system the most thoroughly over thought and ripened disaster management communication, emergency management and disaster relief system.

The Quick Relief Foundation carries on discussions on the establishment of multi-lateral exchange of experiences and cooperation with the so-called developing and non-governmental organizations, which play a key role in the Finnish system, primarily in the field of the establishment of a monitoring system and disaster management database. The significance of the Finnish experiences is increased by the fact that the northern countries have been agreeing their developments, methods and systems to be applied in disaster management.


National Directorate General for Disaster Management, Ministry of Interior

Mr. Sune Follin, Regional Representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Regional Disaster Preparedness Delegate, Head of the Stability Pact Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative (DPPI) Regional Operation Group

Official language of the Workshop will be English and Hungarian. The organizer provides for synchronous interpretation at the Plenary Sessions and follow-up interpretation at the Section Meetings.